Oppressed Women: Victimization, Marginalization and the Criminal Justice System

Robynne Neugebauer, York University

The treatment of women of colour and immigrant women by the criminal justice system in Canada has been defined as problematic by researchers and community groups. This research explores the manner in which police institutions respond to women of colour and immigrant women who are victims of male violence. The perceptions of women are elaborated in terms of abuse and neglect. This paper highlights the "multiple oppressions" of colour/culture, gender, and class. It is argued herein that the criminal justice system trivializes violence against women, and in particular violence against marginalized women. Marginalized groups of women experience heightened neglect and racialized treatment due to their combined status as female, poor, and members of immigrant and racialized groups. This paper also examines a programme of action involving anti-racist feminist organizing and popular protest by interest groups in pressing for legal and social change.

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Updated 05/20/2006